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Hans Christian Andersen: 'Thumbelina' fairy tale enchants the Google homepage

Scenes from the Hans Christian Andersen story 'Thumbelina' replace the search engine's logo in this latest Google doodle.

By / April 2, 2010

Google honored Hans Christian Andersen today with a Google doodle retelling his story 'Thumbelina.'

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Just 24 hours after Google pulled its Topeka April Fools' prank, the search engine's logo has changed again – this time honoring the fantastical imagination of Hans Christian Andersen.

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The Danish author wove several of today's most popular fairy tales, including "The Little Mermaid," "The Emperor's New Clothes," and "The Ugly Duckling." Today marks his 205th birthday.

Google's tribute to Hans Christian Andersen riffs off his story of "Thumbelina." The tale revolves around a tiny girl that was born from a flower and sleeps in a walnut cradle. But to capture the twists and turns of Thumbelina's adventure, Google created a five-part image gallery, which users can advance by clicking the on the logo. It begins with itty-bitty Thumbelina amid her family's knitting tools. Next, we see the frog and mole that each try to marry her. Once she escapes the frog that kidnapped her, she must hide from a harsh winter, depicted in the third slide. Then, after gliding on the back of a bird (image four), she finds a miniature prince (the final picture). The two, of course, live happily ever after.

IN PICTURES: The best Google doodles

These logo swaps have become a regular feature for Google, but today's is the first to adopt a flipbook style. (At least it's the only one that we can think of.) As the Google doodles become more common, the company has tried several ways to spice them up. It created an animated apple falling from a tree to honor Isaac Newton. The search engine devoted an entire week to Sesame Street. And Google crafted a series of mysterious, alien-themed doodles leading up to HG Wells' birthday.

With both April Fools' Day and Hans Christian Andersen back-to-back, it may take a few weeks before Google unveils another novelty logo. But when they do, which celebrity birthday do you think they should aim for next? Thomas Jefferson (April 13)? Edward R. Murrow (April 25)? Or maybe, Conan O'Brien (April 18)? Cast your vote or suggest others in the comments section below.

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